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Shoes and Craft

A shoemaker's blog about shoemaking

Monthly Archives: February 2009

I have found an advertisement about machines to sell. The company – like many others – finished its operation and start to sell all the machines, materials practically for buttons. Unfortunately I can’t place so much more things into my shop, so I just bought a sole-branding press and two sewing machines.

This guy had many last (I don’t write their price – I know that beginner shoemakers pays a lot for them, so that price would make them angry…), tools (I bought them all), and machines, machines (I don’t need them so much).

Here are the pictures.






I had some red buffalo leather from a previous order, so I decided to make a new pair form it – as an RTW. Not a serie, just one pair… this was a half year ago. I still didn’t start it yet, but I post some photo. The main advantage to make one pair RTW, that you can do whatever you want in decoration, finish, toe and heel plates – no order, so no expectations. hmm. lovely job, isn’t it? 🙂  .. I think I will make RED soles.










When I started to learn shoemaking – around 23 years ago – I was so curious how a flat leather turns to a nice shaped beauty. You knwo what I mean, if you ever see a magic trick, and you thought: if you would learn the trick – you get some real magic, because that is not possible any other way. So I felt like this – I was sure that there is some trick behind it. I learned the basic technologies, and this astonishment last – I still hungry for new tricks, methods, materials, sewing machines, tools…

A few years ago I decided that I must learn English style shoemaking. Not because there are huge differences between English and German school. Actually this is one: English stitch. I have never seen it from English makers, maybe US based boot makers make something similar, but not with this small stitches. Isn’t it intestesting that it is called English stitch and German school tought this? 🙂 Never mind. I made two close ups from this shoe – I didn’t ask persmission from its owner to publicate the whole shoe, so I just post these close-ups. I would say – stealing from kitchen terminology – it is a “fusion technique”. Germen style “English stitch”, also German style stithing channel (US maker use this too – which clearly proofs German influence in the craft there), bevelled waist – very English, and fiddleback – also.    




Here is a tutorial I posted before to, but I decided to save it here as well. These are one version to make the bevelled waist and fiddleback on a shoe.


As you can recognise – the shank area must be skived.

This is how to prepare the parts:



And the attached sole shows the nice fiddleback:



The the hardest part: making the stitching channel – not an easy job with JR soles. (but its quality is very good)




Then stitching. The awl must come out in the right place – no room for mistakes.








And this is the secret… and a lot of experience to get the best result.





Ready to walk.


ooops.. and that’s why I visit shoe labs..


Most probably every maker makes it a bit different.


Two new pairs from Koronya Workshop.


The front one – yes, this is THE SHOE. BUDAPESTER. Timeless beauty, maybe a bit heavy for a few taste, but no doubt, that comfortable. The one on the background is the second pair of my RTW collection. A simple black wholecut, with high gloss finish, simple sole, bevelled waist. Maybe I will leave the medallion from the toe, and change the shape a bit.

And let’s talk a bit more about the Budapester. That’s why we call it gunboat form:


If you ever consider to start shoemaking studies – do not start with this last form, or at least with a soft leather. French calf and this toe, can cause a really hard hour to last… if you don’t want to accept the creases, which will appear surely.


My opinion: it is a must in a gentleman wardrobe.

Sometimes I spend some time and money on ebay to find new (actually quite old) tools – you know I am addicted, and it’s not a joke. So these nice pieces came from Austria. On the left there are spme pegging awl mount, the right ones are for stitching, in different sizes. I am very sure that these beautiful pieces have been made 50-100 years ago, most probably in Germany. That time they made millions from these stuff per year! Can you imagine how many shoemaker existed and made nice, comfortable (and durable) pegged shoes and boots? 

These old guys go to work after this long rest. 🙂